Rooney returns for Manchester United

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The Independent Football

Wayne Rooney will return to the bench for Manchester United tomorrow as the Red Devils look to open up a five-point lead at the Barclays Premier League summit by beating Fulham at Old Trafford.

Rooney has missed seven games since limping out with a hamstring strain.

Sir Alex Ferguson opted to leave him out of the squad for Sunday's FA Cup trip to Derby, a decision that has proved to be a wise one.

It allowed Rooney to get an extra day's training under his belt that should ensure he plays some part against Roy Hodgson's men, even if Carlos Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov are expected to be handed the starting spots in attack.

"The plan is for Wayne Rooney to be involved tomorrow night and he will start on the bench," Ferguson told Key103.

"We have handled him in the right way.

"He is training now. His performances have been excellent and he is back to his best.

"The decision not to involve him on Sunday was a good one because he was able to train and that extra day has brought him on a lot."

Meanwhile, Fulham boss Roy Hodgson will give late fitness tests to Paul Konchesky and Andy Johnson ahead of tomorrow's visit to Old Trafford.

Both players have been struggling with muscle strains but will be given every chance to prove their fitness.

Dickson Etuhu is still out with the knee injury he sustained against Wigan, meaning on-loan Inter Milan midfielder Olivier Dacourt should continue in midfield.